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NOVI status for Zuid-Limburg (NL); tackling persistent regional challenges

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Zuid-Limburg has been given the (provisional) NOVI status; the Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken is expected to finalise the status shortly. This recognition is good news, because it means that Zuid-Limburg, together with the national government, will work in an action-oriented manner on the persistent challenges facing the region.

The NOVI is the Nationale Omgevingsvisie (National Environmental Vision) in which Rijksoverheid policy for the physical environment (in a broad sense) is laid down. The provisional NOVI status is the result of a broad Zuid-Limburg lobby by municipalities, Provincie Limburg and the Waterschap Limburg, supported by Economische Samenwerking Zuid-Limburg and by partners across the Walloon, Flemish and German borders. Two focal points were central to the proposition: cashing in on cross-border opportunities and eliminating social health inequalities in combination with urban development.

After the provisional designation as NOVI area (September 2020), an action plan was written based on existing policy. It focuses on three main tasks: towards a cross-border innovative and circular economy, strong and healthy cities in Zuid-Limburg and strengthening the unique Nationaal Landschap as a green lung for Zuid-Limburg. The plan of approach is a growth document that will be discussed and enriched in the coming period together with social partners and businesses, both in Zuid-Limburg and in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. Municipal councils, water board administrators and provincial councils, but also the triple-helix and numerous other parties will be involved in the further development of the plans. In other words: the status of NOVI area is wonderful, but it marks only the beginning of a common task.

The management team NOVI Zuid-Limburg would therefore like to discuss with residents in Zuid-Limburg what exactly it means to be a NOVI area. Together they will map out which challenges we need to tackle in order to unlock and capitalise on opportunities. The plan of approach is a first step; we would like to hear from residents what they are enthusiastic about. What do they want to tackle? What do they see differently? NOVI Zuid-Limburg would like to work with residents on better cooperation and take joint action.

To start with, residents are cordially invited to participate in one of the webinars on Wednesday 20 January, Thursday 21 January or Monday 25 January from 19:00-21:30. Registrations for the evening that is scheduled can be done on the same day. Any questions can be sent by email to NOVI_Zuid-Limburg@prvlimburg.nl

After registration participants will receive the final programme and the plan of approach. A few days before the webinar, the participation link will be sent.

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